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Ford City woman who caught herself on fire at gas station waives hearing

| Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, 2:17 a.m.

KITTANNING — The Ford City woman charged with risking a catastrophe after setting herself on fire at the Shop 'n Save gas pumps in East Franklin in July waived her right to a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.

Christine Mecca, 51, limped into the courtroom of District Judge James Owen using a cane and leaning on the arm of her husband. Her right ankle and hand were heavily bandaged.

Mecca remained seated as the judge explained the conditions of her bail, which stipulated that she be released on her own recognizance. Her husband comforted her as she began to weep.

In addition to the felony charge, Mecca also faces a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment.

The charges were filed following an investigation into Mecca's actions on July 9.

The incident was caught on a security camera and, according to East Franklin police Sgt. William Evans, the footage showed Mecca spilling gas on the lower half of her body and starting the fire.

He said the fire was limited to Mecca's clothes and that three men rushed and tackled her as she screamed and flailed near a truck delivering fuel to the station.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or bbeatty@tribweb.com.

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